Sloughing through life in OK mode leads to a life as Henry David Thoreau verbally pictured, “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.” A great number of people move through life unfulfilled-- watching reality TV, spending free time roaming shopping malls, or surfing the internet or absorbed in their iphones. Not living up to the potential that is within. One of the many ways to Live More Than OK is how I often end emails to students – “Follow Your Dreams!”
Developing your dreams and following them unleashes potential in your life to maximize your experiences. Walt Kallestad says in his book Wake Up Your Dreams, (can be found in libraries or used bookstores), “Dreams can help us see the invisible, believe the incredible, and achieve the impossible.” Creating dreams of what you want out of life can wake up passions for new hobbies, life adventures, new career paths, and new relationships. They allow us to achieve more in life than we could ever imagine!
John Maxwell in his recent book, Put Your Dreams to the Test, mentions how some people live their lives based on the dreams of others. This is seen in young people doing sports their parents want them to do. Students who aim for careers their parents want them to do. This can cause lack of fulfillment and future anxiety as we were not made to live another’s dreams. We were made to live the dreams we were meant to live. Maxwell then takes the reader through a series of questions to reflect over in creating and developing their own dream.
One of the best examples of a person who is an amazing dream maker and dream follower is a man named John Goddard. His story amazed me when I came upon it while internet surfing ideas for a lecture to students on dreams and goal setting. I have used it ever since, with College students to open their minds to the potential each one has to do so many things in their lifetime. John when he was 15 on a rainy day took out a pad of paper and wrote out 127 things on his “My Life List”. The list included places he wanted to go, things he wanted to learn, careers he wanted to follow. Some of his adventures in traveling around the world are noted in his book, The Survivor. Here are some examples from his list: explore the Nile river, climb Mt. Ararat, visit every country in the world, visit the Great Wall of China, visit The Taj Mahal, ride an elephant, study native medicines follow the John Muir Trail, high jump 5 feet, read the entire Bible, read the works of Tolstoy, Plato and Aristotle, play Claire De Lune on the piano. At the time of writing his book he had completed 111 of his original list and expanded the list to 500 items. That is what I call dreaming big. What I admire about the story as well is; he did not stick to just his list of 127, but has kept over his years expanding his possibilities. Do check out his website and read his amazing story -- http://www.johngoddard.info/index.htm
Set aside some free time on a weekend or evening and create your own life dream list. Dream Big about the things you desire to do, places you want to travel to, things you want to learn! If you do Journaling, write your list in your journal, or you may want to make a creative poster of your dream list. Do write it down so you can begin checking your dream items off as you accomplish them.
You may say how does this relate to my previous post on our choices towards Happenstance events or as I see them as God Moments. If happenstance is where it’s at, why plan anything or dream dreams?? Having recently, the opportunity to hear Dr. Krumboltz speak on the issue of Happenstance and life; he pointed out that he is not against dreaming or goal setting. Instead he encourages people to be open and flexible to new possibilities instead of rigidly hanging on to your dreams. Hanging on to a dream may bring you near destruction. I remember when working at a warehouse when I was younger; I had lunch with a lady who shared how she had been almost killed by her ex-husband and needed plastic surgery from the beatings. I asked her why she stayed so long with him until the near fatal beating. She replied she had thought he was her dream prince charming. A dream that nearly killed her. Again thinking of John Goddard’s list, he after many years did not complete everything on his list, instead he opened his mind to 373 new possibilities.
Follow your dreams! But keep open to new possibilities!